Cement Industry: Pouring it on in Malaysia …plus a data source for Africa we like.


The Malaysian government has allocated MYR 230bn for development  under the 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-15), and with infrastructure projects across the country in full swing,  Consumption is rising, and producers are accordingly increasing capacity utilization rates, an accelerating trend in 2014 so far, and one we see continuing through 2015  This trend has not gone unnoticed by regional exporters.

Infrastructure Projects Malaysia.JPG

KG Consumption Per Capita in Malaysia

Malaysia Cement per Capita Consumption KG.JPG

KG Consumption Per Capita in Malaysia:  Source EMD, CEIC

The ratio of imports as a percentage of total consumption rose from 1% in 2008 to 20% in 2013. with the lion’s share coming from China.  The challenge to domestic producers from low cost imports is exacerbated by rising input costs domestically, chiefly energy.  Margin pressures loom as producers struggle to balance the need to be competitive with a higher cost of goods sold.  Read more in EMD’s comprehensive Cement Industry Report


A New Source for Africa Data we Recommend

IntelliNews and EMD analysts spend a lot of time monitoring African economies as we produce our daily updates and weekly overviews.  Data is often difficult to come by, so we are always interested in sources and services covering the region.  We recently became aware of EDI’s database.

While we are not generally in the business of giving plugs for other businesses, we felt it would be a service to our readers with interests in Africa to be alerted to this new entrant into a field that has few credible players in it.  We’ve kicked the tires some, and so far have been impressed with the range and accuracy.

Find out more at

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Posted by on August 13, 2014 in Uncategorized


Measuring the Impact on Production of changes in Capital, Labor and Wages

Measuring the Impact on Production of changes in Capital, Labor and Wages

Which is the better use of scarce resources  to increase output – adding more workers, increasing capital stock per unit of labor, or paying higher wages without changing labor or capital?

Dr, David Blond, our chief economist, applies data from our database to show how factors of production will vary across countries depending upon their relative stage of industrialization.  


Capital/Labor Ratio for Iron and Steel (Advanced, Emerging, and Developing)

This paper argues that that paying higher wages has a better return for more industries than adding more capital per unit of labor, independent any added benefit on the economy as a whole from second-order macroeconomic effects.

Download the paper here or ask us for a password to explore the QuERI databases here.

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Posted by on August 13, 2014 in Uncategorized


Odessa Burns and IntelliNews/Capitol Intel get’s there first.

Our friend and correspondent was in Odessa last week, and also at the Ukrainian-Crimean border.  Having been denied permission to cross into Crimea he headed back to Odessa on Thursday.  His footage of the long lines of trucks coming from Ukraine and headed into Crimea, is interesting…good s and materials are going through, but the going is slow.  That said, he reported customs officials and border guards were relaxed and professional on all sides, and he said the video he took would have been much more interesting had there been any tanks.  But there were none. 

Returning to Odessa, he went out for a stroll and ended up covering a riot with tragically lethal consequences.  Indeed, he had a front row seat to the mayhem, which hit the the next day.  (A day after IntelliNews was covering it, complete with harrowing video….probably the first use of Google Glass in a conflict zone.) 

The mandate at IntelliNews is not to film Molotov cocktails in mid air.  (That said, there is no doubt a journalistic rush, terrifying and thrilling in equal measure, to being the first to report such things in a hotspot like Ukraine.)  Our aim is to report and provide context and analysis, and be occasionally predictive.  And the story we filed Friday is a great example.  Sources say the chaos had roots among local crime bosses.  It started with Football; and degenerated into a mob gone wild…but the whole episode does beg the question, who schedules a provocative football match at such an inflammatory time?  And for what purpose? 

A fund manager we know, whom we happened to alert to events literally as they were going on, confessed on Friday afternoon that he was playing his portfolios very defensively in Europe.  Looking at a map, he concluded that Ukraine without Odessa ceases to be a viable country.  He felt things could get better, or get much worse…and if it got bad, there would be no way European equities would not be adversely impacted.

Judging from the activity on Continental bourses this morning, our fund manager friend seems to have been correct.


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Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Uncategorized


QuERI Global Forecasts launches new online store

QuERI Global Forecasts launches a new online store that contains economic forecast documents for over 72 country’s and 7 global regions that covers over 400 industry’s/commodity’s. Each country and region has over 600 documents organized in the ISIC3 and NAICS6 classifications models.

Our Chief Economist, Dr David Blond, is an international trade economist with over 30 years of experience in developing analytical frameworks and has specialized in international trade flows and market demand. He applies multi-market and multi-commodity statistical techniques to model economic data for large-scale macroeconomic, industrial, trade and transportation concepts and forecasts.

QuERI’s econometric models link production, consumption, international trade, and employment using input-output models and bilateral trade relationships. We combine macroeconomic inputs based on Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts with model developed relationships. The result is a set of industry databases and forecasts that are logically consistent and comparable, providing analysts with consistent size estimates for cross country comparisons.

If you would like to receive our free white papers and free sample documents follow this link and be sure to join the online discussions at our LinkedIn group.

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Posted by on April 3, 2014 in Uncategorized


New Sparta Limited Takes Majority Stake in Emerging Markets Direct

We’ve just returned from London, where it was announced yesterday that Emerging Markets Direct has a new shareholder in New Sparta, and is tieing up with BNE, the highly respected specialist magazine and information company whose editorial line and output we have always respected and admired.

New Sparta is headed by Jerome Booth, who is the author of the just published Emerging Markets in an Upside Down World: Challenging Perceptions in Asset Allocation and Investment. 

Jerome is one of the founders of Ashmore Group which is an investment management firm focused on emerging markets.  Before starting New Sparta, Jerome was head of research at Ashmore.  We could not ask for a more fitting partner, and we are delighted to be one of New Sparta’s companies.

The joining of BNE’s and EMD’s respective editorial teams means more and better coverage of some the world’s most topical markets.  Stay tuned!



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Posted by on April 3, 2014 in Uncategorized


IntelliNews Homepage Gets a Facelift

IntelliNews readers by and large come to our stories by email, and our web presence has traditionally been a secondary activity…useful of course for finding archived articles, or doing a search across all our material.  But we’ve never draped much finery over it.  Indeed, we have been justly criticized for not doing enough to highlight our full range of activities, especially as most of our stories and reports are behind a paywall that, on first sight, does not seem to exist.

Today, however, we’ve released a few changes to our homepage.  Visitors to will see we’ve given the site a more traditional landing page, with the usual navigation features, including the most important one of all, the login area.

To be clear, there are no changes to passwords or usernames required.  If you are a subscriber, your old username and password will to get you in. (If you have forgotten it, just contact us at and we’ll send you a reminder right away.)  And if you are not a subscriber, perhaps you’d like to see what we are all about. Just click here and we’ll give you a proper introduction.

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Posted by on March 31, 2014 in Uncategorized


We liked watching the Telegraph pick up our Story on Gulf Keystone…

…full 4 days after we wrote about it.  For those of you who missed it, you can read it here.

Subscribers hopefully read the piece we put out over the weekend on energy in Poland.  In an accompanying video, we interview a US congressman from Texas who  still includes the Warsaw Pact in his vocabulary.  We won’t hold it against him though, as he is spot on about the coming impact of natural gas produced in America.

More to the point though, our piece talks about the nuclear industry in Poland, and the coming bake off which will pit GE Hitachi against AVEVA, among others.

Unconventional energy factors into a our report output in various ways…Iulian Ernst’s latest analysis of alternative oil production reflects long held interest in the sector.  It’s balanced and pragmatic, and a good read.  IntelliNews subscribers have full access to it on  Others can find it on our storefront’s link.

Speaking of which, if you have visited our store lately, you will note we’ve been moving things around.  It will be a bit messy for a few more days as we clean out dated inventory, and rejigger our display.  Apologies are due, but we ask that you bear with us.  In short order things will be tidied up,and material easier to find.

Part of the reason we are going through this exercise is to make room for our forecast tables.  The timing is propitious…as the next update to these comprehensive industry forecast data sets is coming out later this week.  Stay tuned as we’ll be putting our a special report with forecast scenarios built on the QuERI model for a number of key industries.


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Posted by on February 11, 2014 in Energy, Poland, Romania